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Oregon agency COVID-19 impacts: OLCC, ODFW, Ag, Revenue


Here are Friday's announcements from four state agencies on the impact of COVID-19 on their operations.

OLCC Cutting Red Tape for Alcohol and Marijuana Licensees

Actions Designed to Provide Economic Relief and Business Opportunity in Face of COVID-19 Hardships

Portland, OR -- Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and measures to prevent its spread put into place by Oregon’s Governor and public health officials, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) has made a number of significant changes to provide greater flexibility to the industries we regulate.

The changes including enacting temporary rules, licensing process changes, and waiving certain fees connected with business and licensing transactions.

The information and documents explaining these changes and other documentation can be found on OLCC’s website, on a dedicated COVID-19 Business Continuity page that focus on OLCC’s response to the coronavirus in three key areas: liquor licensing and compliance, marijuana licensing and compliance, bottle bill and beverage container redemption center.

Here is a summary of the agency's actions to date:

  • Commissioner Meetings:
    • Commissioners on call for temporary rulemaking
    • The OLCC is considering taking additional action to temporarily modify its Alcohol and Marijuana Programs

Alcohol Program actions the OLCC has taken:

  • Affirmed that Distillers are ALLOWED to produce hand sanitizer;  there is NO OLCC PROHIBITION on this activity
  • Providing Relief to holders of Temporary Sales License (TSL) by allowing alcohol returns
  • Allowing holders of Annual Retail License to return beer, wine & cider
  • Fast tracking ability for restaurants to receive a temporary license for off-premises sales license before OLCC collects payment for the license
  • Fast tracking ability for restaurants, bars and similar establishments to deliver beer, wine and cider
  • Expedited the process for bars & restaurants to obtain 90-day authorities to operate for off-premises sales
  • Allowing delayed payment of (beer & wine) privilege tax
  • Liquor licensees can return liquor to OLCC agent-operated stores and NOT have to pay the usual 8% restocking fee.
  • Providing Opportunity for Third-Party E-Commerce Operators (Beverage & Food Delivery App Couriers) 
  • Refunding money paid by applicants for cancelled Special event licenses
  • Making it easier to obtain an Alcohol Service Permit
  • Expanded flexibility for liquor stores

Marijuana Program actions the OLCC has taken:

  • Making it easier to obtain a Marijuana Worker Permit

Agriculture & Food Production Essential During COVID-19 Response

March 20, 2020

Oregon is facing an unprecedented situation as the COVID-19 emergency continues to evolve. Maintaining access to an uninterrupted, safe food supply is an essential function. Our food and agriculture workers have a special responsibility to maintain a normal work schedule. The state wants to thank the industry and reinforce their commitment to supporting our farmers, ranchers, fishers, food processors, and farm workers during this challenging time.

“We appreciate the dedication of our food and agriculture workers,” says ODA Director Alexis Taylor. “Telecommuting is not an option for these workers, they are reporting to work as always while taking all necessary precautions to protect our health and the health of their co-workers. Agriculture and food production remain an essential industry that feeds our communities and the state’s economy.”

The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) with guidance from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is actively speaking with agricultural producers and organizations across the state sharing information with the goal of minimizing negative impacts and providing clarity whenever possible. The agriculture industry has ODA’s full support as a critical infrastructure sector recognizing workers as essential to maintain the services and functions Oregonians depend on daily during the COVID-19 pandemic response.

“We recognize the importance of limiting the spread of COVID-19, at the same time our farmers and agri-businesses must continue to operate in order to be able to provide food and fuel consumers depend on,” said Taylor.

ODA will also continue to operate during the COVID-19 emergency, prioritizing resources and continuing with our critical functions. For ODA operation information and agriculture specific COVID-19 info please visit For statewide COVID-19 information, visit the Oregon Health Authority


Salem, OR—The Department of Revenue (DOR) has announced a pair of options for business taxpayers and tax professionals seeking updated information on the Corporate Activity Tax (CAT) in light of the suspension of the agency’s statewide tour last week.

A link to a video of the March 10 CAT update meeting in Ashland has been posted on the CAT page of the agency’s website. The video was recorded and produced by the Southern Oregon University Digital Media Center for the SOU Small Business Development Center.

In addition, the department has posted a copy of the presentation used in the update meetings.

Concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, led the department to suspend its statewide CAT update tour last week, causing the cancellation of meetings planned in Coos Bay, Lincoln City, Seaside, Portland and Keizer.

Business taxpayers and tax professionals who still have questions after watching the video and/or reviewing the presentation can send them to using the subject line “CAT video question.”

Information about the Corporate Activity Tax is available on the CAT page on the Department of Revenue’s website . Resources include:
• A list of frequently asked questions.
• A link to the CAT administrative rules.
• High-level summaries of the rules and other topics to help with taxpayer compliance.
• A link to the statutes governing the CAT.
• Links to the email address for asking questions about the CAT and a separate email address to provide input on the administrative rules.
The page also includes an opportunity to subscribe to email updates about the CAT.

Visit to get tax forms, check the status of your refund or make tax payments; call 800-356-4222 toll-free from an Oregon prefix (English or Spanish); 503-378-4988 in Salem and outside Oregon; or email For TTY (hearing or speech impaired), call 800-886-7204.

ODFW offices limit public access as precaution against COVID-19
Staff remain available by phone and email; some check-in requirements waived

Friday, March 20, 2020

SALEM, Ore.—ODFW offices are limiting public access beginning Monday, March 23, as part of statewide efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.

While all ODFW offices will be closed to walk-in visitors as of Monday morning when they open, ODFW staff remain available by phone and email to assist customers. See ODFW contacts online at

Hunting and fishing seasons remain open as adopted in permanent and in-season regulations. Fish are being stocked in lakes and ponds.

ODFW wildlife areas remain open to day-use including hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing, but overnight camping at wildlife areas is prohibited beginning Sunday, March 22. Fish hatcheries are closed to visitors so staff remain healthy and keep hatcheries operating.

State public health officials say that hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing and other outdoor recreation is OK to do in small groups, provided people maintain social distance (minimum of 3-6 feet from other people) and stay home if they are sick. See Oregon Health Authority’s FAQ for more information on outdoor recreation and COVID-19 and other guidance.

In keeping with public safety guidelines to slow the spread of COVID-19, ODFW is adjusting some regulations that required people to visit our offices:


Successful cougar and bear hunters are temporarily not required to check-in their animal at an ODFW office, though they do still need to report basic information about their harvest within 10 days. Hunters need to call the office in the district where they harvested their cougar or bear and report their name, ODFW ID number, date of harvest, location of harvest (wildlife management unit), sex of animal and confirmation number for electronic tags. Or, they can email all the above information to


Rules requiring that people check in roadkill parts within 5 business days have also been waived with the exception of heads with antlers from male deer and male elk. (The requirement to surrender heads with antlers is in statute and cannot be waived by ODFW.) Roadkill permittees must call a local office to arrange surrendering antlers. Please call your local office within 5 days of salvaging roadkill to make arrangements (though the actual surrender may occur after 5 days).


Sales of all hunting and fishing licenses and controlled hunt applications continue online and at license sale agents that are open. Purchase online at

Customers who have never purchased online before, find tips at  Don’t forget to use the Verify/Look Up button to find your account if you have preference points, certifications, or have purchased an annual license since 2016 or later.

If you need assistance with online purchasing, email or call Licensing at (503) 947-6101.


ODFW is also closing its Wildlife Areas to overnight camping effective Sunday, March 22. Campers need to vacate their campground before 10 p.m. on Sunday night. While camping will be prohibited, wildlife areas that are currently open remain open to visitors for day-use activities including wildlife viewing, fishing, hunting and other outdoor recreation. (Note some areas are closed annually this time of year to protect wintering wildlife but they reopen on various dates in April.) The closure affects both dispersed camping and established campgrounds. See the ODFW Wildlife Area Visitor Guide for more information,


Special licenses for people and veterans with disabilities can be applied for via online form and mailed; see for more information.

Pioneer license applications are also online at

These special licenses can be renewed online at ODFW’s Licensing Page.

“We are taking these steps with the well-being of our staff and our customers in mind, and we thank you for your understanding,” said Curt Melcher, ODFW Director. “The closure is to avoid people standing in lines, failing to maintain social distancing or coming into close contact with staff.

"ODFW is still here to serve you, but through other, safer means during this time,” he added.

Find the latest ODFW updates related to COVID-19 at

For the latest on COVID-19 in Oregon, see the Oregon Health Authority webpage at

Article Topic Follows: Government-politics

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